Congressional VA Committees Request Administration’s Assistance in Caring for Lejeune Veterans

On Friday, April 20, Senators Patty Murray and Richard Burr and Congressmen Jeff Miller and Bob Filner, Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Veterans' Affairs Committees in the Senate and House, sent a letter to President Obama asking for his assistance in expediting health care for the many veterans and family members who are sick as a result of exposure to well-water contaminated by human carcinogens at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

VA Secretary Shinseki indicated in a letter to Congressman Miller that policy decisions must be postponed until more scientific evidence is revealed linking water contamination at Camp Lejeune to illness. The Chairmen and Ranking Members believe that there is already sufficient evidence to give veterans and family members the benefit of the doubt, including the EPA's acknowledgement that trichloroethylene (TCE), a chemical which contaminated the water supply system at Camp Lejeune, is directly linked to cancer.

Senators Murray and Burr and Congressmen Miller and Filner will continue their bipartisan efforts to advance legislation to provide health care services to the veterans and family members who have suffered health consequences due to no fault of their own. They hope to expedite these efforts, however, by working with the Administration to identify existing funds and resources that may be reallocated to pay for the cost.

You may read a copy of the letter here.